Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 10, 2012

Webster and the Wildcats

Boyd County graduate named Big Blue Madness official

CANNONSBURG — Michael Webster is used to Friday night basketball in Lexington.

The 2004 Boyd County graduate routinely gets to call some of the best high school games in the state.

This Friday, though, Webster will be running with the Wildcats.

Big Blue Madness, Kentucky basketball’s first official practice, takes the state’s center stage at Rupp Arena. Webster was invited to be one of the officials for the men’s scrimmage game, the feature event of the evening.

“I probably won’t have to blow my whistle one time, but it’ll be a great experience to run up and down the court with those guys,” Webster said.

In his eighth year of officiating, Webster has called high school and small college games.

The third-year Tates Creek Middle School P.E. teacher mainly works 10th and 11th Region games. This past March, he was an official for a 16th Region Tournament first round game between Rowan County and Fairview before finishing up the week in the 9th Region Tournament.

He’s been in black and white stripes on Rupp Arena’s floor before, but not in front of a capacity crowd. The arena holds nearly 25,000 fans.

“I’ll have the best seat in the house,” said Webster, who will take in all of the other festivities from the floor, including the introductions of both the women’s and men’s teams and the women’s game.

“Coming just after (Kentucky’s) eighth national title, there will be a big celebration for that,” Webster said. “I’m sure there will be some celebrities down there. They talked about possibly having last year’s national championship team there. And all the recruits coming in too. I should be in awe.

“Hopefully I can’t screw anything up,” he laughed.

Webster has been an official for three of Kentucky coach John Calipari’s live scrimmages in the Joe Craft Center the past three years.

“I’ll probably stay away from Coach Cal,” Webster said in reference to Friday night’s game. “He usually blows the whistle for us. He runs the show.

“I love watching Coach Cal and (assistant coach Orlando Antigua).”

Webster received this unique invitation with much thanks to Bart Lenox. Lenox is currently a Division I official and a good friend of Webster’s.

According to Webster, the rare opportunity didn’t look promising for a while.

“I heard that I was going to get the chance, but then I heard they were going to go away from using local officials,” he said. “But I got the call (on Monday) and asked if I’d be interested.”

Webster plans to return to the area in December to be an official for a high school basketball showcase, featuring nationally renowned teams, set to take place at Boyd County Middle School.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos